- SPOILER CITY*****************
I just returned from a day of fun at the theater... watched all of the Twilight movies on the big screen, capping it all off with Breaking Dawn Part One. Here is my review:
I loved the quote from Bella at the beginning. Loved the humor with watching Bella try to walk in the heels. Her dress was amazing. It was so perfect. I really liked that they included the dream sequence from the night before the wedding. Also, I don't normally like it when they add extra bits that were not in the book, but I thought the Edward flashback scene to his non-veg vampire days really added to the movie. The ceremony was brilliant, especially when they started playing Flightless Bird. The wedding toasts were great. Ah, Charlie. The part with Irina... well, I think the jury's still out on that one. I see why she was included, but adding her drama in with the drama that happened with the wolves as well... just seemed a little bit too much.
The scene where Jacob danced with Bella made me cry. It was so true to the book that it shocked me. Overall, I thought the honeymoon was great. I think they did very well with the love scenes. I saw just enough. It was sexy and romantic and very tasteful. Since the book basically just faded to black, it was nice to get that visual. I like how the bit with the bruises played out and was glad it was included. Edward was a little less dramatic in the film than he was in the book, which is a good thing, IMO. I loved the chess playing scenes (and Bella's dream, LOL). Overall, very pleased with the honeymoon.
Then the pacing gets a little sketchy. The ratio of wedding/honeymoon to pregnancy was a bit off to me. It seemed like the wedding/honeymoon was longer than the entire pregnancy. Jake comes over and it's already been two weeks since they got home. It seemed a bit rushed. I didn't feel like they really captured the Edward "burning man" as well as they could. Also, Jake just didn't seem as filled with rage in the movie. When I first heard that they were making two movies, I was really excited. There's no way they could have fit the whole story into one film. Not possible. I was glad that they were going to focus more on the pregnancy. To be honest, I felt that they didn't include as much about the wolves as I expected. They didn't really get into the Claire/Quil situation, which made the imprinting on a baby thing even stranger. I really hate that they didn't have the bits where Seth hung around with the Cullens. I liked that. I missed the Jacob/Leah relationship. I guess I was just used to reading the whole "Jacob" book. I was glad to see more of Bella, and of the pregnancy. One thing I DID NOT like was how they did the wolf voice-over thing. It was cheesy. The voices sounded weird. They sounded demonic almost. Didn't like that scene.
One thing I liked was that the story they told Charlie was that she never came home from the honeymoon. It always bothered me that, in the book, Charlie knew she was at the Cullens house but never came over there. I get that the Cullens told him to stay at home, but come on. He's a dad, and a cop. He would have been breaking down their doors.
The effects on Bella for the pregnancy were spot-on. The scene where Rose is about to help her into the tub gave me chills. I was afraid (based on the clips and trailers) that they weren't going to make her look sick enough. I'm glad I was wrong. The argument between Bella and Edward, and his subsequent apology and where they bonded as a family, was wonderful. When he finally heard the baby speak and put his hands on her, it made me cry so hard. One thing I did miss was the Jacob/Rosalie banter and jokes. I feel like that was a really big missed opportunity. Also, the Bella/Rose relationship wasn't really very well-defined. I guess they didn't really have time to expound on that very much. I thought that the bit where Bella drank the blood was very true to the film. The way it tasted to her. I guess there's not much of a way you can screw that up. I loved how Alice made Jasper leave the room. Also, I really like that Rose didn't much care for Bella's name choice (Renesmee). I think I saw her actually roll her eyes. Glad they included that.
The birth was great and had me at the edge of my seat, and cringing. It really felt like a horror movie, something I wasn't sure they were going to be able to pull off (kudos, Mr. Condon). The baby was beautiful, of course, and had the perfect amount of awareness, as described in the books. I was disappointed that she didn't have the thick curls, but oh well. The eyes... Bella's eyes... made up for it. The part where Edward is pumping on Bella's chest, trying to bring her back... wow. She looked like a corpse. She really looked like she was gone. Even though I know how it ends, it made me want to cry to see her look like that.
The imprinting was very tasteful. I loved the flash-forward scenes. Renesmee is going to be so beautiful. I love how Jake basically fell on his knees in front of her. Did I mention that when he thought Bella was dead, and collapsed outside, it broke my heart? Because it did. The whole wolves fighting the Cullens bit, I wasn't wild about. It really looked like the wolves were going to kill them. I felt it made the Cullens look weak. Personally, I think that the vamps could have taken them. I hate how Emmett jumped up in the tree. Alice looked so weak. It was just... wrong. Also, Edward comes out there and announces that Jacob imprinted on the baby, like he's just fine with that? I wanted to see him go psycho on Jake!!! Maybe in Part 2....
The transformation. I thought it was actually kind of cool how they showed the venom travelling through her body. The part where they showed her life flashing before her eyes... wow. That was powerful stuff. It was also really neat the way they showed her body repairing itself (though it did kinda look like she was a deflated balloon being blown back up). Bella is going to be one very stunning vamp.
Lastly, the bit at the end with the Volturi. I liked it. Aro is as psycho as ever.
Overall, I was impressed with this movie. Still not sure if it's my favorite of the saga or not. Twilight will always hold a special place in my heart. It's definitely my second favorite. It just had an overall different feel about it than the others; of course, that is largely SM's fault for writing such a strange book. It just felt like less of a love story and more of a horror movie. That's a good and a bad thing. I'll definitely have to watch it a few more times to make a determination.
What did everyone else think? My review probably makes it sound like I hated it, which is not true. I'm just not the type to say, "I loved it..." over and over. I try to be as objective as possible. I can see how the critics may not like it... again, that's SM's fault, not Bill Condon's. It's a strange book. I think he did as well as can be expected, considering the source. Even SM herself once said that she's not sure if it could ever be made into a movie.
Please leave me your feedback!